April, 2007 Archives

I got a nice treat this morning as the front page of the ProJo featured a story and a large picture of Rhode Island beekeepers. Mark Robar is putting together a queen rearing operation to raise queens suited for the Ocean State’s climate (almost all our queens now come from Georgia, South Carolina and other southern states).

A lot of people use Italian bees, Apis mellifera ligustica, because they’re gentle and get started quickly in the spring. I can’t think of a more appropriate breed to get acclimated to RI. Is Apis mellifera federal hillicus in our future?

Queen rearing is a whole ‘nother bag of cats from beekeeping. It involves a little biology, a little alchemy and a little luck. I’d like to try my hand at it eventually, maybe after expanding my modest apiary to more than the three hives I work now. But until then, I can’t wait to get a queen from Mark and company. I’m sure they’ll be successful because, the ProJo tells me, my friend Whitney is helping them out (so maybe I’ll try to finagle some free “experimental” queens out of the operation…)

Rhody Bees?

I’m constantly noticing signs that I’m getting old*. All the Red Sox rookies are younger than me, I think the kids these days are degenerates, and WBRU’s “retro lunch” is completely comprised of singles that I distinctly remember being “screamers of the week” (new music). And today I ran across a good one:

Greg, he writes letters, and burns his CDs, they say you were something in those formative years.

That’s a line from Tori Amos’s “Pretty Good Year” on Under The Pink (wow, I just listened to that cd all the way through. So, so good.)  First, I remember listening to that album in junior high school, which I’m pretty sure was in fact a lifetime or two ago. Second, and hopefully more interesting to you than the musical taste of a 13 year old, is the fact that “burning cds” has a completely different meaning nowadays. The line in that song almost conveys the opposite of what Tori was going for there. Crazy.

* I’m 26, so yes, I realize I’m coming off as a brat to anyone born earlier than the late 70s. Sorry.


I am poor pragmatic, so I use the library to get almost all my books. This usually works out really well, you go online, find a book, click a button and they send it to your local branch. Easy.

Sometimes, though, I want a book that’s popular, and the waiting list is 40 people deep (apparently everyone loves Obama) and I’ll have to wait months to get it. I don’t like waiting, so I have a little trick: find the large print edition. Those are the copies for the sight impaired, nice big fonts, easy for my nana to read. The large print books are listed separately from the regular versions, so less people find those listings, and less people reserve them. I usually get them right away.

There are times, though, when I’m easily reading my large print copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma at arms length and I picture some poor guy with coke bottle glasses trying to read a regular sized copy under a giant magnifying glass. Sorry about that my friend.

A guilty conscience

After months of flirting with the idea, Em and I finally cut the cord. Or, more precisely, the coaxial cable. This week we returned our digital high def DVR cable box to the mothership (Warwick Mall) and bid adios to Cox Cable*.

Now, after hearing other people’s stories about what happened when they threatened to cut back on their wildly overpriced packages, I was sorely disappointed that Cox didn’t even make an effort to keep us hooked up. I was just looking for some validation! Affirm my value as a customer, dammit! But no, nothing. Not even a half hearted offer to give us cheap phone service (not that we even have a phone…).

So begins an experiment in entertainment deprivation. The biggest problem is not getting NESN for the Sox games, but it turns out you can follow the action on, get this, the radio! I’m hoping I’ll lose 10lbs, read more, write a web app, learn Mandarin, and maybe get that old cold fusion thing working.

And if that doesn’t work out, I think we’re getting FiOS in a few months…

* not totally adios, of course. Man can live without cable, but high speed internet is, in reality, indistinguishable from oxygen.

Sticking it to Big Cable

I love to read. There’s usually a pile of library books in my living room that I never have enough time to read. And though it seems like my borrowing habits lean heavily towards the non-fiction section, I do love stories.

Probably because of that aforementioned lack of time, I like short stories quite a bit (I had a friend who would peek over a thousand page Maeve Binchy book to laugh at the 200 page collections of short stories I’d be reading).

Anyway, the point of all that junk above is to point you to this brilliant website without looking like I’m just pasting up a link then running out to IKEA (which I am, right now.) Have a great weekend!

Reading list

Ah, nice to see the Sox in the win column. Pitching looked pretty freaking good (though I did miss some middle innings to watch Lost) and JD Drew is leading a nice bit of early season offense. Sweet.

The only thing that spoils a solid blowout win on the road is the morons who think that chanting “Yankees suck” during the second game of the season in Kansas City is somehow, in some insane universe, an appropriate way to cheer on their team. Revoke their Red Sox Nation citizenship, I say!

(And speaking of Yankees, please don’t tell me Mike Lowell is going all Chuck Knoblauch on us. Three errors in one game?!)

Now I can’t wait until tomorrow afternoon, when we can all say konichiwa to the Matsuzaka era. Yankees are second class!

Knocking off an hour early from work to watch the Sox, free coffee from Main Street’s UN-pretentious coffee shop, homemade salsa and Red Hook’s spring beer waiting at home. It’s a good day.

And while I write this, Big Papi’s first RBI of 2007. A really good day, indeed.

UPDATE: ok, well the whole “good things” stuff didn’t continue, but still, tough to argue with the benefits of a tasty brew, the Red Sox back in my life, and I even saw some buds on the trees today. All good things.

A good day